When it comes to managing our various social media accounts, the top two dashboards you’ve probably already heard of are Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. This is for good reason, too. They’re easily the most popular, user friendly social media management platforms, boasting loads of functions, add-ons, and extra options for folks looking to step up their social media game and approach the scene with an air of professionalism and flawless organization.
When it comes down to the top two choices, though, the question is always the same: which one is best for me? There’s a reason both these apps dominate their market, so how are you supposed to choose between them? Luckily, the decision might be easier to make than you think. In this guide, we’ll pit Hootsuite vs. Tweetdeck, break down their features, and rank which one is best for which purpose.
If you’ve already made up your mind and went with Hootsuite, check out this course on how to get started with it. If you decided Tweetdeck is more your thing, this course offers a Tweetdeck tutorial as well as a Hootsuite one. New to social media in general? Find out all the benefits of social media for your personal use and business purposes with this massive social media bootcamp course bundle.
What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is a dashboard application meant for the organization of social media accounts, designed particularly for brand management. It was created by a programmer named Ryan Holes in 2008. After realizing his need for, and the market’s noticeable lack of, a tool to manage his various social media accounts and profiles, Holmes decided to create his own. The result was Hootsuite, which allows integration with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, WordPress, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Mixi, Trenspottr, and Google+ right in your internet browser.
Hootsuite also has its own directory of user-created apps, extensions, and plug-ins, which users can use to customize their own Hootsuite. Notable extensions allow the integration of popular imageboard and social networking sites Instagram, Reddit, and Tumblr, the Storify service, and the video networks YouTube and Vimeo.
As of last year, Hootsuite has about 7 million users, including notable people and organizations such as SXSW, HBO, and even the Obama administration!
What is Tweetdeck?
Tweetdeck came before Hootsuite by a couple months. If you’re wondering why Holmes, the creator of Hootsuite, didn’t just install Tweetdeck before going and creating his own tool, it’s because Tweetdeck has one notable disadvantage against Hootsuite right off the bat: it can only integrate with the social media network Twitter. As its name might suggest, Tweetdeck is Twitter exclusive, and while it did have Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn support at one point, it dropped them in updates during the years following Twitter’s acquisition of the company.
Unlike Hootsuite, Tweetdeck is not a desktop-only application, and can be installed as a desktop app for both Windows and PC, and a Google Chrome plug-in, in addition to being run in a browser.
Hootsuite vs. Tweetdeck: Shared Features
Despite being designed right from the start for mostly different things, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck do share a lot of features. If they weren’t similar products, we wouldn’t have to be comparing them in this list, after all. Even these shared features are presented in unique ways depending on which app you’re using, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
- Column-Based Social Media Management
Both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are aggregate-like dashboards that organize your social media networks into columns. Since Tweetdeck only uses Twitter now, these columns represent various features of Twitter itself. You can add more columns as you please, and can select what function you want the column to have based on the kinds of information that Twitter allows in the first place.
For instance, you can see your timeline, your interactions, your followers, your favorites, your DMs (direct messages), your personalized Twitter lists, trending topics, and so on. Confused about what this all means? Sounds like you need a Twitter tutorial. Check out this course on what Twitter is and how to use its many features.
Staying organized, even on the computer, is super important to your productivity and personal sanity, and Hootsuite and Tweetdeck both offer that luxury. Check out this course on how to organize computer files for tips on decluttering the rest of your virtual desktop.
- Custom Link Shortening
This is especially important if you’re posting on social media for a company or a brand. You don’t want your tweets or your Facebook posts to look ugly or disorganized, and most of the time you want to keep things short and snappy. While there are plenty of lessons to be learned on how to tweet effectively, one of the most important things you can do is use shortened URLs when linking off-site.
Both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite offer their own custom URL shortening just for this purpose! While you’re tweeting, just put the URL into its “add a link” textbox and click Shrink! Hootsuite will minimize the URL into a custom ow.ly URL, and Tweetdeck will minimize it into its own custom bit.ly URL.
- Scheduling Social Media Posts For Later
If you’re running a blog or a business, this is probably one of Hootsuite and Tweetdeck’s most useful features. With both applications, users can schedule social media posts for future publication. Maybe you’ve just written up a review for a film or game you had a copy of in advanced, but you can’t share the review until the press embargo is lifted. The only problem is, the embargo will be lifted in the middle of the night in your time zone, but you want this thing posted – and shared – on the dot! No problem at all with Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. Just schedule that post for the exact time you want it out on WordPress (assuming you use WordPress), and then schedule the tweet using your draft’s shortlink to share it with the world. Learn more blogging tips in this course on how to start blogging, or this course on how to setup a WordPress blog.
Or, let’s say you’re trying to advertise a new campaign your company is running, but you don’t want to continually tweet out the same thing over and over again. You can schedule these tweets for throughout the day or week. The only problem is, you have to create each tweet manually and schedule it manually. If you use the paid version of Hootsuite, you can upload a spreadsheet with all of your scheduled posts, but this is still an extra step.
Still, the ability to schedule tweets ahead of time is undeniably a useful one. Learn the importance of using social media professionally with this course on social media marketing for start-ups.
Hootsuite Exclusive Features
Similarities aside, there are some things only these individual applications can offer, and at some point you need to compromise. So what is it that Hootsuite has that Tweetdeck doesn’t?
- More Social Media Network Integration
As we explained before in the section about Hootsuite, something that Tweetdeck unfortunately lacks is the integration of social media sites other than just Twitter. With Hootsuite, you get access to all of your social media profiles, from Twitter to Tumblr, Youtube to Instagram, LinkedIn to Reddit. In the free version, the amount of networks you can integrate is five, but that’s still a lot or just enough for most people!
If you’re running a company, it’s really important that you have access to all these accounts at once. Even if you’re just a serious social media user, this can be loads easier than switching between a million tabs. Speaking of tabs, Hootsuite offers tabs in addition to columns, so you can stay extra organized.
Do you see a trend here? Hootsuite is obviously for the more professional social media user, since it provides basic analytics and even Google Analytics integration. Find out the importance of Google Analytics and how to use it with this course.
Tweetdeck Exclusive Features
It’s already seeming bad for Tweetdeck here… what does it have to offer that Hootsuite doesn’t?
- Customize Twitter Streams
I mean, it makes sense that Tweetdeck’s Twitter-based customization is fancier than Hootsuite’s, considering it’s owned by and used exclusively for Twitter! With this feature, you can customize Twitter columns specifically, and create streams for only certain people. This allows you the freedom to pick and choose what kind of Twitter activity you want to see, and from whom you want to see it.
You can also mute hashtags, which is a super cool feature for anyone who’s had the displeasure of being bombarded with a topic they just want to stop hearing about! What is a hashtag? Find out more about the hashtag and its function on social media in this course.
Hootsuite vs. Tweetdeck – The Verdict
Well, the results are in and… well… there’s no right or wrong answer, here, really. If you’ve read the entire guide, you’ll notice that Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, while similar, are really most useful when used for their intended purposes.
Hootsuite is fantastic if you’re running a business, because you can manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts with ease, and check your analytics.
Tweetdeck is fantastic for the avid Twitter user, because of its specifically-designed focus on the Twitter platform and your ability to customize your activity streams. It also gets extra points for being completely free.
Check out this social media management course for more tips on keeping your social media networks – whether for business or personal use – organized and efficient!